The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee this afternoon held the first of three planned hearings to examine the opioid crisis and possible legislative solutions, which reviewed several bills pertaining to the Controlled Substances Act. In a letter submitted to subcommittee leaders, AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said, “The AHA is gratified to see the Subcommittee on Health begin to receive testimony on specific legislative approaches to solving this crisis. Our membership is evaluating the potential implications of the many bills that have been referred to the Subcommittee this year, and we look forward to working with you and your staff in the coming weeks to shape legislation affecting hospitals and health systems.” In addition, Nickels highlighted policy recommendations to address the opioid epidemic. Among other changes, AHA encouraged Congress to preserve health insurance coverage through the exchanges and Medicaid; support the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act (S. 1850), which would fully align 42 CFR Part 2 regulations with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; enhance enforcement of mental health parity in health coverage; incentivize medication-assisted treatment training for providers; and consider dedicated funding to promote interstate data sharing among prescription drug monitoring programs and providers.

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